James Best, best known for his portrayal of sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on television’s “The Dukes of Hazzard,” died Monday after a brief illness.
For decades James Best kept busy as a character actor in Hollywood and on stage in theater, but it wasn’t until the late 1970’s and a television show about the Duke’s from Hazzard County made James Best famous for his role as sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.
For seven seasons “hot pursuit” and “cuff ’em and stuff ’em!” became common phrases on Friday nights, as “The Dukes of Hazzard” was one of televisions most popular shows in the early 80’s until its end in 1985.
In a 2009 interview, Best had this to say about his character. “I acted the part as good as I could, Rosco, let’s face it, was a charmer. It was a fun thing.”
John Schneider and Tom Wopat, who played Bo and Luke Duke on the show released statements about there former co-star.
“The work he did with Sorrell Booke (Boss Hogg) probably defined our show as much as the car chases. He was a fine actor, director and mentor, and an even better friend. He will be greatly missed.”
“Jimmie Best—of course, I laughed. But I learned more about acting in front of a camera from Jimmie Best in an afternoon than from anyone else in a year. When asked to cry on camera, he would say, ‘Sure thing…which eye?’ I’m forever thankful to have cut my teeth in the company of such a fine man.”
John Schneider also released this picture on his Twitter Page.
Even at the age of 88 James Best was scheduled to begin work on a new film later this year called “Old Soldiers”, about World War II veterans.
James Best was 88 years of age.
As a kid I grew watching “The Dukes of Hazzard”. It was one of my favorite television shows on at the time. The “General Lee’ and Daisy were probably two biggest reasons why I watched.
I actually have all seven seasons of the show on DVD and every so often I watch an episode or two just for the fun of it. The show seems a bit silly now when I watch it as an adult, but as a kid I didn’t care.
When I read of actors passing away from television shows or movies I liked as a kid it kind of reminds me that I’m not getting any younger my self. Time marches on whether we want it to or not. I may not be a kid any more, but there’s nothing saying I can’t be a kid myself every so often.